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Full text of "To a Christian in the army"

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Ko. 43 


My DikkR Brother: — I need hardly remind you thjf 
your present situation has much that is unfavorable to tin- 
culture of the Christian graces. The very idea of war 
implies as much. You are removed from the restraints of 
Cnurch, family, social. life, and a regulated public opinion ; 
and exposed to scenes in camp, that are unfriendly to vir- 
tue as well as piety ; the more often in contact with un- 
godly, and' often sceptical men,- who sneer at all religion 
as;.delusive, or deceptive; and compelled to witness sin so 
constantly, that you are i^n danger of losing that horror of 
it. which you ought constantly to cherish. The force- of 
these things is mournfully attested by the number of pro- 
fessed christians, who have fallen away in the army, 
marking a sorrowful career which beginning at the com- 
munion table, ends in the grave of the drunkard, the blas- 
phemer or the gambler. That these influences may be 
counteracted is proven by the many bright examples of 
those who have shown that a christian soldier is !is possi- 
ble now as it ever has been. Pardon then a few sugges- 
tions to enable you to be. a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 

1. Remember that you are a witness for Jesus in your 
' present position, and that your obligations are increased 
rather than-Iessened by entering the army. That" light 
of the world" and " salt of the earth," that is 'so needful 
in the quiet of peaceful society, is much more needful in 
a state of things where thousands of men are brought to- 
gether under circumstances likely to develop all that is 
evil in their hearts, many of whom are to die away from the 
influences of religion, and the rest to return home to com- 
municate there the tiaoral character (hey have formed in the- 

dcope^veproof to the b curt than the most cutting wor<h 
coul'i-have (lone. Love, love of Christ and love or'tfouls. 
will aiwa\ -a be an infallible guide in such things. 

7 Keep eternity in view as constantly as possible. You 
may be ushered into it in the twinkling of an eye, and 
therefore,- should have it always before you, a radiant light 
to guide you, a joyous prospect to cheer you, a glorious 
hope to strengthen y6u. You will thus be prepared for the 
summons, let it come as it may, and be ready to enter into 
the joy of your Lord. 

In one word, keep your religion always close to your 
heart. A soldier in one of our battles, was saved from 
death by a Testament in his breast pocket which arrested 
the ball that was aimed at his heart. Had it been in his 
tent, or his knapsack, or any where but just where it was, 
lying close to his breast, it could not have saved him. Let 
the word of Christ rest thus close to your heart, and it 
will keep it warm, shield it from the fiery missiles of the 
e.vil one, cheer and guide it in life, and iri death light it 
joyously through the dark valley 


1 With brave but beating heart, 4 A victory we have, 

We marched to meet the foe, Because thou helped us Lord. 

Uncertain what should he ow Else we'd been covered by the 
part — wave! 

Who should in death lie low. And fallen 'neath the sword. 

2 We longed the day to win, 5 To thee the praise is due, 

And drive the invader back. To thee our thanks we give, 

'thus we would help a peace to O help us-love and serve thee too, 
gain*, Ana to thy glory live. 

The' blessing that wo seek. 6 And when comes our last fight, 
'l Thy goodness, Lord, we tell That fight which all must make, 

We bless thy .wondrous grace. Bring us off conquerors, through 
While bullets new, andmanyfel), thy might, 

We did not end our race.' For our Redeemer's sake. 

X OXX1V. Psalm, verses 4 and 5.